Several Caribbean islands actually have beaches with black sand. This strange phenomenon only occurs with volcanic activity.
Although the Caribbean is famous for its unforgettable turquoise water and soft, white sand, some islands have sand of a very different color. In fact, it’s the complete opposite from snowy white. You can bask in deep gray or black sand on several beaches on the islands of Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada. However, you’ll need to be extra careful on sunny days, since dark sand attracts more heat than light sand.
Here are some of the most elegant black sand beaches to visit in the Caribbean:
1. Woodlands Beach, Montserrat
Woodlands Beach in Montserrat came to be thanks to one of the Caribbean’s famously active volcanoes– Soufriere Hills. After the volcano erupted for the first time in the 1990s after having been dormant for centuries, volcanic material made its way to Woodlands Beach, where it created one of the most striking black sand beaches in the Caribbean.
2. Well’s Bay, Saba
The often-overlooked island of Saba has an incredible black sand beach that very few travelers have set foot upon. An eruption from Mount Scenery volcano in 1642 left this small beach with a high percentage of volcanic material. Although the beach is small and a bit rocky, it’s worth visiting if you’re looking for somewhere secluded to hang out.
3. Rosalie Beach, Dominica
Located near the Rosalie Bay River, this beach on the Atlantic side of Dominica is a great place for turtle sightings. Turtles have been known to nest and hatch there for years. Its lovely dark gray and black tones are thanks to not one, but nine active volcanoes. However, the last major eruption was centuries ago. Today, the volcanoes on Dominica emit only steam.
4. Black Point Beach, St. Vincent
This breathtaking black sand beach was used as a filming location for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. It is also home to Black Point Tunnel, a centuries-old tunnel spanning about 300 feet. Also known as Jasper Rock tunnel, it was carved out of rock between 1812 and 1815 to provide a means for plantation owners to easily transporting sugar cane to waiting ships headed to Europe.
5. Saint Pierre, Martinique
In 1902, Mont Pelee erupted and completely devastated the city of Saint Pierre. Nevertheless, this beautiful beach was left in the wake of the disaster. After lounging on the beach, you may want to visit the new town of Saint Pierre, which has been rebuilt where the old one once stood. Among the few surviving buildings from pre-1902, you can see a jail cell that held the only survivor of the volcanic eruption. He survived only because of the thickness of his jail cell’s walls.
6. Black Bay, Grenada
The deep, dark coloring of this sand on Black Bay beach in Grenada is due to the previous eruptions of Mount Saint Catherine and the other four volcanoes on the island of Grenada. Mount Saint Catherine is currently dormant.